The Yankees aren’t quite out of the woods yet with Aaron Judge.
Aaron Boone removed the rightfielder midway through Tuesday night’s game against the Braves and said afterward it was just a matter of wanting to get Judge off his feet in a blowout.
But the manager disclosed before Wednesday night’s game the 28-year-old Judge is dealing with “some lower-body tightness,” caused by, Boone surmised, playing four games in three days on the hard Tropicana Field turf last weekend against the Rays.
“It's kind of all over the lower body where he's kind of dealing with some rigor,” said Boone, adding that when Judge arrived at the ballpark Wednesday his desire was to play. “The hips and down into the hamstrings and calves. I think it's a result of probably the four-game pounding in three days down in Tampa... we're hoping to get out ahead of [it] and hopefully prevent an injury moving forward.”
Boone said Judge started to feel a little something toward the end of the Rays series but there was no consideration to sitting him Tuesday.
“Felt good about where he was yesterday and coming out of the off day [Monday], was hoping he would be fine,” Boone said. “Just kind of watching him closely during that game [Tuesday], seeing him move around a little bit cautiously, I felt like it was best to get him out of there.”
Boone, while expressing confidence there is no long-term issue for Judge, also could not say for sure he would be back in the lineup Friday when the Yankees start a four-game series against the Red Sox at the Stadium.
“I hope so, but I mean that's, in a lot of ways, a long way from now,” Boone said. “Let's just kind of get through today. Obviously tomorrow [an off day] will be valuable to be able to just treat it and get some rest and we'll then see where we're at.”
Judge, limited to 102 games last season after playing in 112 games in 2018, is off to a hot start at the plate, hitting .343 with a league-leading nine homers and 1.101 OPS.